Morgan Stanley just hired a Google veteran for its investment management arm as Wall Street doubles down on its data efforts

Morgan Stanley just hired a Google veteran for its investment management arm as Wall Street doubles down on its data efforts

James Gorman

Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Chairman and CEO of Morgan Stanley James P. Gorman. His firm's investment management division hired its first head of data and analytics.

  • Morgan Stanley Investment Management has poached a Google machine learning expert for a newly-created role, according to a memo seen by Business Insider.
  • MSIM, which oversees $480 billion, hired Michael Nirschl as head of data and analytics.
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Morga Stanley's investment management arm is the latest financial institution to make a boomerang hire from Silicon Valley.

The firm, which oversees $480 billion, hired Michael Nirschl for a newly-created role, head of data and analytics, according to an internal memo sent Wednesday that was reviewed by Business Insider. He's working in New York and reporting to MSIM chief operating officer John Hagarty.

Nirschl previously spent seven years at Google. He was most recently a senior machine learning software engineer for Google, where he worked on search advertising and YouTube.

He also has a finance background. Before Google, Nirschl did algorithmic market-making at UBS and worked at Goldman Sachs as a strategist and quantitative analyst in interest rate products.


See more: Deutsche Bank just nabbed AQR's head of technology to help lead a $15 billion push into digital with a focus on the cloud

Investment managers are doubling down on data efforts, chasing efficiency and lower costs as the industry continues to see investors flee actively-managed, higher revenue products in favor of passive funds. Some asset managers, like WisdomTree, are also using data to better target potential clients, while other investment teams are trying to integrate data into their investment processes to better manage risk and gain an investing edge.

"We are focused on enhancing Investment Management's data environment on multiple dimensions - from improving data accessibility and measurement, to utilizing data science to inform decision making across the division," Hagarty wrote in the memo reviewed by Business Insider. "This is a critical component to the future success of our business."

Nirschl joins a growing number of technologists who are leaving Silicon Valley for Wall Street, some coming back to the industry where they got their start, as Business Insider reported in January. According to data and interviews with bank executives and headhunters, the trend of finance talent fleeing to tech companies to chase riches, influence, and a better lifestyle appears to be slowing, if not reversing. The finance and technology industries have converged, and tech's competitive advantages have thinned.

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